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When Being 'Right' Hurts Connection

A dad friend of mine told me about his recent struggles connecting with his daughter. It is a small interaction, but illustrates an important point of how we often misunderstand or take things personally and end up missing chances to connect.

He hadn't slept well so wasn't at his best Tuesday morning. He had gotten up early to help her make breakfast and get off to school. She came down and was feeling stressed about a test and the day ahead. She asked him about getting new running shoes that he is usually happy to provide.

He was making her eggs and added a bunch of salt. She exclaimed with an eye roll, "Dad, I don't like so much salt in my eggs." He reacted and yelled, "Why don't you come in here and make your own damn breakfast. And don't ask me to buy you new shoes at 7 in the morning, I haven't even had my coffee." She visibly withdrew at the angry outburst, hungry and just wanting something she liked to eat.

This type of interaction h